Introduction: Impress Your Family Easy Thanksgiving Pumpkin Roll

Many people are intimidated by this holiday classic. But you will see that making a delicious pumpkin roll is easy. Your friends and family will be impressed at your skills in the kitchen and everyone will get to enjoy one of my favorite Thanksgiving treats.

Step 1: Roll Call

Kitchen Tools/Items:

* 1- Large jelly roll pan
* Wax paper
* Clean hand/dish towel
* Electric mixer
* Several Mixing bowls
* Spatula

The following Ingredients makes 1 pumpkin roll.

* 1/4 cup powdered sugar
* 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 3 large eggs
* 1 cup granulated sugar
*  1 15 oz can of LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin (Not Pumpkin Pie Filling) I have never tried a different brand but have used fresh pumpkin, using canned just makes it easier.
* 1 package cream cheese, softened (you should splurge on the name brand on this one, it really does make a difference).
* 1 cup powdered sugar
* 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Step 2: Prepare Your Pan.

Preparation of the pan is a basic but critical step in making the pumpkin roll. The butter and flour acts as a releasing agent.  After the cake portion is baked it needs to come off of the pan very cleanly without tearing or breaking. You should go ahead and preheat your oven at this time to 375 degrees.

1. Line your pan with wax paper. It's ok if the paper overlaps the edge of the pan a little. 

2. Take a stick of butter and rub it over the entire surface of the wax paper making sure to use only enough so that no wax paper is exposed.

Tip: Don't use more butter than necessary to cover the pan. This can lead to a more greasy cake that may fall apart when rolled. Too little butter will cause the cake to stick to the pan and tear when removed.
Also, I have used cooking spray, such as Pam, before and the results with butter and flour were far superior. 

3. Now sprinkle a small amount of flour over the entire pan so that the flour is evenly distributed.

Tip: Too much flour will make a crusty cake that when rolled flakes apart.

4. Set the pan out of your way and get ready to make the cake mix.

Step 3: Better Batter Part I: the Dry Ingredients.

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.  Thoroughly whisk them together by hand.

Dry Ingredients:
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Cloves
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup Flour
1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda

Step 4: Better Batter Part II: Wet Ingredients

1. Add one cup of granulated sugar and three large eggs to a separate large mixing bowl. Beat with your electric mixer on low until combined.

2. Once combined, add 15 oz of of pumpkin (a small can) and beat on low power until all wet ingredients are well combined. Your final product should be about the consistency of pudding.

Wet Ingredients
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 15 oz can of LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin (Not Pumpkin Pie Filling) 

Step 5: Better Batter Part III: Combine the Wet With the Dry.

1. Now take the dry ingredients from Part I and stir them into the wet pumpkin mixture.

2. Mix just until combined. Batter may still be a little lumpy.

Step 6: Spread and Bake

Pour the batter into the jelly roll pan that you have previously prepared. Use a spatula and spread the batter until it is smooth and evenly spread throughout the pan. 

Tip: I use an offset spatula in addition to my regular spatula to get a very even and smooth surface.

Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for 13-15 minutes or until the cake is springy to the touch. You don't want to under bake the cake. It will stick the paper and be a mess!  

Step 7: Know Your Roll Part I

So here comes the scary part for most people.  I have included a video to show just how easy it is.

At this point the cake has baked and is ready to come out.  Remove the cake from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes.This process allows for a little bit of condensation between the cake and the wax paper that further aids releasing the cake from the pan/wax paper.

While the cake is resting you will prepare for "flipping" the cake. 

1. You will need a large cutting board or a cookie sheet (a mobile flat hard object), a clean dry dish towel, and a piece of wax paper.

2. Now lightly dust the cake with powdered sugar.

3. Next you will layer: First the wax paper, then the towel, and last the cutting board/cookie sheet on top of the cake.

4. Now you are ready to flip! (You may need oven mitts if the pan is still too hot) Quickly and carefully flip over all layers. Your hot jelly roll pan will be on top now. 

5. Remove the hot jelly roll pan. Then slowly and carefully peel off the wax paper.

6. Last you will roll up, starting with the narrow end, all three (cake, wax paper, towel) layers. Rolling the cake before it cools will make it easier to roll after you fill it with the cream cheese icing.

7. Set the roll on wire rack to cool completely.

Step 8: Icing on the Cake

While your cake is cooling you will want to prepare the cream cheese filling.

* 1 package cream cheese, softened 
* 1 cup powdered sugar
* 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients on low speed. Set aside. I leave mine on the counter while my cake is cooling so it is easier to spread when the time comes.

Step 9: Know Your Roll Part II

Again, I have included a video as this step can be a little intimidating as well. After your cake has cooled completely, carefully unroll the cake/wax paper/towel.

1. Spread the cream cheese filling evenly onto the cake.  Cover the entire cake with all of the icing.

2.  Using the wax paper to help, carefully re-roll  the cake and cream cheese filling.

Tip: If your cake is sticking to the paper, you can use a spatula or dough knife to loosen the cake from the wax paper while your roll. Don't give up if some bits of cake get stuck to the paper. Imperfections will end up inside of the roll.

Step 10: Time to Chill!

Lay out a piece of plastic wrap. Lay the roll onto the plastic wrap. At this point, I like to trim the ends off  of my roll to make it pretty (Its also a good excuse to taste your roll). Wrap it up nice and tight and stick it in the fridge or freezer to chill.   You can make this ahead of time, freeze it, and take it out the morning you plan to eat it.

Step 11: It's a Crowd Pleaser

After a few hours... Take it out, slice it up, listen for the "Oohs and Ahhs", and Enjoy!
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